The 10th Day of Christmas

A fuzzy coating of fresh snow glittered like diamonds in my headlights as I pulled out of my driveway this morning. At that predawn hour the whole city seemed to be frozen in darkness. Downtown the steam from the smokestacks rose in the still air, spreading out around the heads of the buildings downtown like a wreath.

We have crested another year like a mountain, and looking out we can see the next one spreading out in the valley below. It is January 3rd, the 10th day of Christmas, but Christmas seems so much further behind us than that. Ahead of us stands the long white expanse of winter, and the rainy mud time of spring, before our next holiday from obligation. These are the days that test our patience. These are the months that breed despair.

Sitting here on my front porch this morning sipping my coffee, I realize that there is little wonder why Christian symbolism revolves around the theme of light at Christmas. In these long nights it is light that we crave above all else. Is it any wonder that our savior should be called the light of the world?

Or that wanderers should seek a star to follow?

Darkness is an intoxicating mystery. It conjures up dreams, and stimulates the imagination. When darkness comes our bodies produce melatonin, and we crave sleep and the vivid escape from reality that it brings.

But if we dwell too long in the land of the night we become lost. The same drug that intoxicates can poison.

Then only light can bring us back, and drive the dark of doubt away.

This is how we were wired. This is how we were created. Our two halves inseparably revolve around one center, alternating through darkness and light. Each one defining the other. Each one chasing the other from the sky.

“But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief
That thou, her maid, art far more fair than she.” – Romeo & Juliet: Act 2; Scene 2; 2-6

Arise fair sun, and kill the envious moon. Your time has come.


17 thoughts on “The 10th Day of Christmas

  1. Since I’ve long since lost the ability to be eloquent I’ll just come right out and say that I’m not sleeping in a pool of my own sick and wearing the same pajamas day in and day out for no good reason!
    Everyone has got the SAD, or the seasonal something or other disorder that has robbed our fun (a la Patty Punker)sapped the color from our cheeks and made our hair hang limp around our sallow faces.
    I’ve essentially ceased to be a functioning memeber of society and if we aren’t all careful I might become even LESS capable of holding a thought than I previously was. That is bad news

    • Hey, maybe you are the dirty stinking hippie star child of which the prophets spoke.

      (see link from Hellish below)

      “And they found her in pajama pants, lying in a pool of her own sick” – Isaiah 3: 4-7

      If you see three guys knocking on the door, make sure they are bearing gifts before you unlock it.

    • Star Child? That sounds like some dirty stinking hippie name!

      Cool story though. Not any more/less believable than the tradition that the three wise men are interred in the Dom Cathedral in Koln.

    • and less germs, and sharing of colds. It’ll be another month before this round of sickness works its way out through the house.

    • You are always welcome in Minnesota. However, I would highly recommend visiting between the months of June & August. Our summers are lovely, and make up for the other 9 months of the year. Well, that’s what we keep telling ourselves anyway.

      • When discussing the trip, He Who Loves All Things Wicked suggested April. I immediately put my foot down. We are going to visit his cousin, who has a cabin, on a lake, near a potato farm. I’m sure you know exactly where I am talking about. (Kentucky joke there, where everyone thinks it is like a town and OBVIOUSLY I should know where they are going using vague generalities like the ones I just used)
        Point is, mid-July was the final agreed upon time. I conquered the cold……

        • Is that the cabin on the lake near the potato farm with a red barn, or the cabin on the lake near the potato farm with the white barn?

          Just curious.

          Good call on July, the ice usually doesn’t completely melt in the lakes until May 1st, which can make swimming difficult sometimes. I wish I were kidding.

  2. Wow, excellent post. I did not know that Jan 3 is the 10th day of Christmas, but that explains the box of frogs dressed like 19th century aristocrats I received from my wife today. What. I’m the first one with this joke? 😀

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